Evening Standard Owners Win Licence For New Local TV Channel

Proposed content balance of London Live during its first year of operation.

Communications regulator Ofcom has announced the winning bid to run a new local digital TV station. London Live, backed by the Evening Standard, saw off four other bidders for the licence, which could run for 12 years.

London Live will be one of 21 local channels launching on Digital Terrestrial TV around the country, some as early as the end of this year. The new channel will be funded by advertising and sponsorship, and reach an estimated 4 million homes in the London area. Unsuccessful applicants include London8, LondonTV, Made in London and YourTV London.

No confirmation, yet, on a launch date or any programming for the channel. However, the new channel’s intentions can be gleaned from the successful bid document (PDF). At the time of bidding, the team reckoned they’d be ready to broadcast by September 2013. Their ‘what will we do’ statement reads as follows:

Provide a new interactive TV service that actively engages Londoners in the creation and delivery of local news, current affairs and community programming, broadcast on Freeview (ch8), Virgin (news & Tivo) , Sky (ch117 & yellow button), mobile devices and VOD.

The document goes on to promise 18 hours per day of broadcasting, rising to 24 hours if demand arises. The channel will also produce four hours of local news a day, with half-hourly bulletins, Big Debates (an hour’s programming per day, with investigations, debates and campaigns), an hour of community-programmed TV (e.g. films from Londoners), arts and cultural programming, archive films about London, and other acquired material. The balance is shown in the pie-chart, right.

You can read the full 47-page document here. We’ll look into this more following announcements from the winning bidder.

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  • Chalfont

    Good to see they’ve found some room for some teleshopping on the schedule…

  • Gastronomix

    Apart from as a breeding ground for aspiring presenters and programme makers is this going to be an asset to anyone? There really isn’t enough news and local interest material around without resorting to cat gets stuck up a tree style stories and I shudder to think of the type of programmes that are going to be made on the likely miniscule budgets.